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September 04, 1997 - Image 16

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The Michigan Daily, 1997-09-04

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16A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 4, 1997

AROUND THE BIIN-
CONFERENCE
Big Ten teams out for dessert in cupcake nonconference slate

0

By 8. Luia
Daily Sports Writer
The college football season begins in
earnest this weekend, and football fans
around the country will be flocking to
see their teams in action.
Michigan fans, however, will have to
wait one more week before they can see
the 1997 installment of the Wolverines.
Luckily, there are plenty of Big Ten
teams in action Saturday, so even
Michigan fans can get their fix of college
football. Without further ado, we present
the year's first Around the Big Ten:
PENN STATE AT PITTSBURGH:
Penn State finished 11-2 last year and
is now the top-ranked team in the nation.
Pittsburgh went 4-7 in 1996 and is
unranked. Who do you think is going to
win this game?
The Nittany Lions boast several of the
nation's premier offensive players. Junior

running back Curtis Enis rushed for 13
touchdowns and more than 1,200 yards
last year. Senior wide receiver Joe
Jurevicius was second in the nation in
yards-per-catch with an average of 21.2.
Pittsburgh also has some offensive play-
ers, though none of them made the cover
of Sports Illustrated like Jurevicius did.
Penn State's Billy West and Dwayne
Schulters combined to rush for more
than 1,200 yards last year and quarter-
back Matt Little passed for more than
1,200 yards. Don't count on the Panthers
doing much offensively or defensively in
this battle of oversized cats.
Penn State 63, Pittsburgh 3
ILLINOIS VS. SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI:
Illinois is coming off a less-than-
impressive 1996 campaign. The Illini
won only two games all year, one of
which was in the Big Ten, and finished
last in the conference.

New coach Ron Turner replaces Lou
Tepper, who lasted six seasons as the
Illini's skipper. Turner will depend upon
the contribution of senior running back
Robert Holcombe, the lone bright spot in
Illinois' 1996 season. Holcombe was the
fifth leading rusher in the Big Ten, aver-
aging more than 116 yards per game. If
Illinois is going to win this game, or any
game for that matter, Holcombe will have
to carry the bulk of the offensive load.
Illinois 20, Southern Mississippi 14
INDIANA VS. NORTH CAROLINA:
If this were a basketball game, it
would be on national television.
Unfortunately, this is a football game
between two basketball powerhouses -
one game that could get ugly.
Indiana was another of the cellar
dwellers in 1996, finishing tied with
Illinois and Minnesota for the dubious
distinction as the Big Ten's worst team.
The Hoosiers did manage to win two
nonconference games, but the three wins
were not enough to save the job of coach
Bill Mallory.
Mallory is replaced by former
Michigan assistant Cam Cameron.

Cameron faces the daunting task of com-
peting without twelve starters from last
year's squad, including the Big Ten's
third leading rusher, Alex Smith. This
year will most likely become what is
referred to as a rebuilding year.
North Carolina 45, Indiana 14
IOWA AT NO~rHUERN IowA:
Ah, the traditional Iowa vs. Northern
Iowa football bonanza. Anyone caught
caring about this game outside of Iowa
should be smacked.
Believe it or not, this game does have
national implications. No, no, don't
laugh. Iowa is ranked 20th in the nation
and a loss would probably knock the
Hawkeyes out of the poll. Don't count on
them losing.
Iova was tied for third place in the Big
Ten last year, posting a 9-3 record. The
Hawkeyes return several capable starters
from last year's squad, including leading
receiver Tim Dwight, leading passer
Matt Sherman and second leading rush-
er Tavian Banks.
On the other side of the ball, the
Hawkeyes return their two leading tack-
lers from last year, linebackers Nick
Gallery and Brion Hurley. These two
teams last played each other in 1995
after an 81-year layoff. Northern Iowa is
probably looking to avoid another 95-0
loss like they suffered in 1914 at the
hands of Iowa.
Iowa 35, Northern Iowa 10
MICHIGAN STATE VS. WESTERN
MICHIGAN:
For the third time in the past seven
years, the Spartans have chosen to start
their season against another team from

Michigan with a directional prefix in its
name.
Western Michigan will try to follow in
the footsteps of Central Michigan, which
defeated the Spartans to open the 1991
and 1992 seasons. Michigan State, in its
third season under Nick Saban, looks to
improve upon two straight six-win sea-
sons. The Spartans return running back
Sedrick Irvin and Butkus Award candi-
date Ike Reese.
Todd Schultz is penciled in as the
starting quarterback after sharing the job
last year with Gus Ornstein and Bill
Burke. Don't count on the Broncos to
put up much of a fight in this rodeo.
Michigan State 45, Western Michigan
23
NORTHWESTERN (1-0) AT WAKE
FOREsT:
The laughingstock of the Big Ten for
many years, Northwestern has become a
national powerhouse in the past few sea-
sons after winning back-to-back Big Ten
championships.
The Wildcats head into their second
game of the season ranked No. 24. They
will have to try for their third consecu-
tive Big Ten title without the help of sev-
eral important parts of their champi-
onship teams.
Northwestern will have to replace run-
ning back Darnell Autry and quarterback
Steve Schnur, both of whom ranked near
the top of the Big Ten in their respective
positions.
The Wildcats will also have to replace
D'Wayne Bates, who was lost for the
season after suffering a leg injury.
Wake Forest will have to deal with the

loss of Tim Duncan to graduation. Oh
wait, strike that last sentence. Actually
the Demon Deacons lost only five
starters to graduation, and none of the
went to the NBA. The players who a
returning, however, are not very good,
and compiled only a 3-8 record last year.
Look for Northwestern to bump their
record to 2-0 with an easy victory here.
Northwestern 38, Wake Forest 7
PURDUE AT TOLEDO:
The only interest that this game holds
for the typical resident of Ann Arbor is
that it will be played nearby. Not very
close, but pretty close.
Seriously though, Purdue is openi
the season under a new coach, Joe Tiller,
who replaced Jim Coletto. Tiller will try
to improve upon Purdue's eighth place
finish in the Big Ten from a year ago.
Senior Ed Watson returns after lead-
ing Purdue in rushing and scoring last
year. A Toledo native, Tiller will have a
little added motivation in this game. But
his team will not need any extra motiva-
tion in this contest.
Purdue 24, Toledo 7
WISCONSIN (0-1) VS. BOISE STATE:
Wisconsin has imitated its Big Ten
friends and ordered up a bit of a powder
puff opponents to pad its nonconference
record.
After falling to Syracuse, the Badgers
will look to record a win behind super
sophomore running back Ron Dayne.
Boise State posted only two wins in its
1996 campaign before hiring new coach
Houston Nutt during the off-season. Lo
for Dayne to rush for about 500 yards.
Wisconsin 61, Boise State 0

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Michigan State, like Its
Big Ten counterparts,
play an easy nonconfer-
nce game this weekend
when It takes on
Western Michigan.
AP Photo

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